The British Junior Open (BJO) is one of the most prestigious events on the calendar for young squash players. It attracts the best young players from all around the world annually to battle it out for the coveted title. This year marks the first time in 22 years that the event hasn’t been held in Sheffield; with the BJO set to be hosted in Birmingham for the next 3 years.
2018’s event took place from the 3rd to the 7th January at multiple venues in Birmingham; one of which being the University of Birmingham’s brand-new Sport and Fitness club. UB Sport & Fitness houses six permanent squash courts and constructed one glass court exclusively for the competition. This year’s tournament was one of the biggest in history with more than 600 competitors from over 35 countries competing across 10 age groups; from U11 to U19.
Not only was this a massive event in terms of the number of competitors, but the spectatorship was also huge with hundreds in attendance on both semi-final and finals day. The atmosphere in the sports centre was one of tangible excitement over the weekend as the competition drew to a close. All 7 courts were in use and each had its own crowd of supporters, from family, friends and coaches, to club members and ticket-holders. The quality of squash being played was incredibly high from such young players and didn’t fail to excite the crowd with some very close matches being played out.
This was a great opportunity for Sport and Fitness to put itself on the map as a host of international competitions and served as a very successful trial of use of the glass court ahead of the upcoming World University Squash Championships in September and the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Read the top news and results from the event here.